You have an idea for a product – that’s already half the battle. But a long and winding road is still ahead of you, so buckle up and plan it well! With a structured product development process, everything should go smoothly.
Given the number of digital products flooding the market today, skipping the planning part would be a business gamble. Moreover, we recommend reaching out to the digital product consultancy to discuss your idea and roadmap with an experienced company that has already introduced various products to the market. That’s the best collateral – you will sacrifice a part of your budget for digital product consulting but avoid failing on the market and losing all the funds.
Now that is articulated, let’s move to our design thinking-based product development guide, which you can execute with your business partner or consultant or on your own!
Understand your user’s needs
No successful product has ever been created without understanding your user needs. Thus, that should always be your starting point.
- Start by conducting research in various forms to understand what your users are searching for.
- Create focus groups and talk to participants selected in accordance with your target group. Engage in exercises that increase your empathy and help put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Try out empathy-building exercises such as POV.
- Create comprehensive customer personas and specify their needs. Given these insights, distinguish the target segments that will help you promote your product better, but also adjust the features of your products and tackle key KPIs.
Define your product
Once you understand your user’s needs, you can define the problems your product should solve. You probably had an idea before, but now your area of focus should be clear.
Your product may be amazingly thought out and meticulously executed, but if it doesn’t hit the target, success is not very likely. Even if you know your niche, you may have missed some existing initiatives and could sabotage your product’s growth. You don’t have to introduce something innovative to succeed – but in this case, you should know the weak points of your competitors, understand what their users lack, and provide it to them.
With thorough market research, this is achievable, but you may need external support. A company that has already operated in this particular market can provide you with some priceless insights into its needs and traps. Before defining your product, make sure to dive deep into the market and the competitive landscape to make sure you are standing out with your product from the beginning – in a positive way.
- Pick your benchmarks and analyze the available user feedback (like reviews in the App Store) to understand what their customers struggle with the most.
- Make sure the features or improvements that solve these issues are prioritized in the development process, and remember – this is your wild card. You can build your marketing strategy around it and boast as much as you please!
When you know you have your user needs, the project outline, target group, and market research clear and worked through, that’s where the core of the definition phase begins.
- You can now specify the project requirements in detail, joining all the collected information together. These requirements will serve as a foundation for the functionalities later included in your prototype. How to describe them? An agile approach comes in handy here, with its user stories being a perfect method for facilitating the understanding of the feature between the team members while channeling the end user perspective.
You’re now halfway through the digital product development process –
your way toward the Proof of Concept is paved! Whether you join forces with a digital product consulting company or not, success is at your fingertips!